Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rising Star Outreach--MCR Shoe Manufacturing Inauguration 21 Apr 2017

Rising Star Outreach is a 13-acre K-10 residential school campus located in Thottanaval Village, in Uthiramerur Taluk, within Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu State and serves families of persons affected by leprosy.

LDS Charities helped Rising Star to develop a Micro Cellular Rubber (MCR) shoe manufacturing center by donating equipment and supplies to get the enterprise operational for the first year.

On a bright summer day in late April, we gathered to inaugurate the shoe manufac-
turing center, located within the nearby Mangalam Village.

Stephanie Fisher, a volunteer from Germany, who specializes in marketing education, was our MC.

A girls choir from the school sang a song of thankfulness.

Talented young women who love their school, their teachers and their dorm moms.

Elder and Sister Newton were honored with beautiful shawls and original paintings created by leprosy patients.

Sister Newton had the honor of cutting the official ribbon for the opening of the new shoe manufacturing facility--formerly a home for beehives.

Then it was time to check out the new shop! This manufacturing barn is unlike any manufacturing facility anywhere else in the world.

The open-air design and its location within a lush garden of trees, shrubs and flowers, allows the shoe technician to work in a beautiful setting, yet protected from the elements.

G. Rajan is excited to begin making custom shoes.

Rising Star expects to manufacture 1,500 the first year.

Rajan is excited to show us his new tools and supplies.

Shoe forms...

Cutting tools...

Rivets to hold leather together...

A powerful grinder to finish the leather and rubber materials.

G. Rajan explains the process to Elder Newton and to Dr. Susan Hilton, Managing Director and Medical Director.

Everyone enjoyed seeing the beginning of an exciting venture to make shoes for feet infected by leprosy that need protection from further injury.

From the staff that helped prepare the new facility... the Finance Director, Johnson Yobu--in the blue shirt here--and his staff in the office.

We took opportunity to present Dr. Hilton with a remembrance from LDS Charities.

A pencil and pen cup for her desk...

...that has the LDS Charities logo and dates of our service.

Left to Right: Dr. Hilton, Darla, Larry, Stephanie Fisher and Carrie Scott (Rising Star Development Director from Provo, UT)

NOTE: The following took place on 24 to 26 April 2017:

Footwear technician G. Rajan went to Chettipunyam Leprosy Colony on Monday (24 April 2017) and took measurements. Ten patients needed shoes.

This is patient Number One.

By the end of the day Monday the custom shoes were well into production.

By Wednesday the shoes were assembled and in final finish.

By the end of the day Wednesday, all eight pairs of shoes were ready for delivery to the patients at Chettipunyam Leprosy Colony... and two more pair would be completed by Thursday afternoon.

Mission accomplished!

While walking out of the self-reliance garden area, we stopped to take photos of some of the plants.

Here (Left) are tapioca plants...

On the Right are pineapple bushes, with a tiny pineapple just starting.

We then traveled to the Mugulvadi Leprosy Colony--about 15 Km away--to check on the nine residents and talk with their leaders: JiRaj and JiMary.

JiRaj and JiMary are such happy people--despite the effects leprosy has on their lives. Here JiRaj sings and dances with Carrie.

We all sang, danced and visited with them, 
despite the 108 F temperatures that felt like 126 F.

Carrie gives a loving hug to JiMary.

Stephanie dances and sings with JiRaj and JiMary.

Despite repeated attempts for us to help them with something specific that day, they said they were all just fine. They also thanked us for coming and thanked Rising Star Outreach for always being there for them...for bringing them rice, dahl, medicines and hope at least twice each month. They have nothing, and they appreciate every visit.

It was time for us to leave and they were as happy as when we arrived! Such loving people: the Rising Star Outreach staff and the people affected by leprosy.

Back at the School Campus we were welcomed by the students with this beautiful chalk Kolam design at the entry.

It was play time for the children.

Soon, we were surrounded by happy, loving faces curious about who we were and why foreigners were at their school. 

We talked, played and had a good time with them!

It was time for us to leave.

We had a little time, so we visited the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary near the School. Hundreds of pelicans, cranes, egrets and much more.

A short trip but a lot of memories.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful and strange land that you have enriched in your stay there. We will all be boring when you get back here, just sayin.